Joseph’s story: empowerment through entrepreneurship

Empowerment through Entrepreneurship

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Current healthcare delivery options aimed at Rwanda’s underserved populations, such as mobile clinics, are often sporadic and inconsistent.

OFH’s entrepreneurial focused model is designed to be a sustainable solution that increases access to care and while enabling highly-qualified nurse-owners to improve their economic positions and access to other opportunities.

Our unique strategy has empowered individuals who previously lacked such opportunities while strengthening community-wide health outcomes.

This is particularly true of Joseph, the owner of an HP in Ruhuha, located on the outskirts of the Akagera National Park, in Rwanda’s Eastern province.

Until 2013, Joseph lived with his family in Kigali and worked for a private clinic. When the clinic closed its doors, he began the complicated process of seeking new opportunities that further developed his skills and allowed him to remain in a field he was deeply passionate about.

This unique opportunity came through OFH. Word of mouth from a colleague brought Joseph to our network and our mission and model resonated with him. He immediately wanted to be a Franchisee and saw this opportunity as a chance to be his boss, assume responsibility for the success and direction of his clinic and be rewarded for the energy and hard work he was prepared to invest.

In June of 2013, after his training was complete, Joseph was offered the HP in Ruhuha.

Joseph has led the clinic’s efforts ever since, skillfully and diligently treating the many patients who visit his clinic daily.

 

“OneFamilyHealth not only gives entrepreneurial people like me a chance to fill their dreams and potential but also [helps] our country, which at this point surely needs as many rural health posts as we can get.”

 Joseph Rurangira, Head Nurse, Ruhuha Health Post

 

“My HP is far away from the main road in a relatively highly populated area. The number of patients each day varies from an average of 35 to 50. August has been less busy than the average month, as CBHI members are deciding whether to renew their memberships and not all are currently covered by insurance and able to use the HP.”

The clinic treats and provides education on a wide variety of diseases and infections, helping to ensure greater preventive care and long-term health.

“The most common causes of disease in this area are intestinal parasites, respiratory infections, and mouth infection, for which I prescribe antibiotics. These infections occur because this is an impoverished area and people don’t have access to toothbrushes or toothpaste. Also, the children have a lot of fungal infections in their heads. These infections are easily transmitted between siblings since most children share their bedrooms, bed, and clothing with others of their family.”

In spite of the hard work and investment required, Joseph has enjoyed being an entrepreneur and benefitted from the different levels of support OFH has offered.

“I am really happy with my Health Post. Of course, there are challenges, but being my boss is a great reward in itself. I am happy with my relationship with the OFH head office staff. I am frequently in touch with the technical representative of Gatsibo, who provides support and ensure things run smoothly for me.”

Much like our larger vision, Joseph envisions increasing the HP’s impact and breadth of services.

“I would like to be able to offer laboratory services, so I could examine the causes of diarrhea and prescribe the best treatment for each case, rather than the generic treatments that I prescribe nowadays.”

As he continues to run his clinic successfully, Joseph is grateful for the opportunity to serve as a community leader in an area he cares deeply about.

“OFH is an excellent project, not only giving entrepreneurial people like myself a chance to fulfill their dreams and potential but also for our country, which at this point surely needs as many health posts as we can get.”